Air Canada will eventually have to pay US $ 4.5 million (approximately $ 5.6 million) to compensate the thousands of customers who canceled or modified their flights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An agreement was reached between the carrier and the Air Travelers Protection Office of the United States Department of Transportation, which took legal action against Air Canada for delaying compensation to its customers.
This is a record compensation claimed by the air carrier, the department said in a statement Monday.
Under the agreement, US $ 2.5 million will be used to reimburse passengers who cancel their flights, while US $ 2 million will go to the US Treasury.
“Other sellers who sell carriers and airline tickets have a legal obligation to refund customers on the airline, cancel or substantially change the flight,” the Department of Transportation recalled. The repayment period should be limited to a maximum of a few weeks with some more tolerance threshold during the epidemic.
Overall Air Canada is fine with this deal. Last June, the US government launched a total of $ 25.5 million in lawsuits against the carrier over delays of more than a year to reimburse US customers.
“Air Canada has not acted in good faith. On the contrary, almost a year after the May 2020 announcement, Air Canada continues to violate US law and pursue a policy of no reimbursement, ”US officials said.
The government said it had received more than 6,000 complaints against Air Canada.
He responded by assuring that the Department of Transportation’s rules on the Montreal – based carrier reimbursement period were merely “guidelines” and had no legal value.
Keep in mind that Air Canada was also confused by the delay in repaying its Canadian customers, who decided to do so only after receiving $ 5.9 billion in assistance from Ottawa.